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Iraqi Democracy Bottom Line


So, when it comes to the problem of democracy in Iraq, the bottom line is this: the favorite examples of the democratizing optimists are Japan and Turkey. But those examples are much more problematic than we are told. Nor are other, arguably better, if more discouraging, examples considered. I would have a lot more confidence in what the optimists say if they had come to their conclusions after a careful weighing of the similarities and differences between Japan and Turkey, on the one hand, and Iraq, on the other (not to mention careful consideration of more challenging examples, like India). But as far as I’ve seen, none of the optimists has bothered to do this. I think that calls their conclusions into question. In “After the War,” I put evidence and argument behind that suspicion.


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